Just like any skill, you need to practise your English. The best way to do this is by talking to people and exposing yourself to it. Watch your favourite English films and TV shows, listen to the radio, have conversations in English (online or in person), shadow a CD (reading out loud) for intonation and rhythm practice.


Getting to the next level in English listening requires more than just motivation and commitment. It also takes deliberate practice, which is a structured, planned way of improving your listening skills.

This includes reading transcripts after (or even during) your listening sessions to make sure you understand all the words and grammar. This can be a great way to identify your weaknesses and strengthen your strengths, but it can also be a fun way to learn new words!

If there is a particular type of English that you find difficult to understand, try listening to audio with that accent for a month or so. This can help to get your ears used to it, making it much easier for you to understand. You can use podcasts or news stories that have the subtitles, or even use a program like FluentU to help you with this.


Just like cooking, playing sports or learning a language, reading comprehension can take some time to improve. The key is to study in a distraction-free environment, practice every day and use your English skills often. Start with text that is easier and gradually work your way up to more technical papers and challenging vocabulary.

If you can’t read a whole book, focus on the topic sentences of paragraphs and learn to skim over the rest. This will help you double your reading speed and you will be able to understand most of what you read. Try to do it in a natural way, without forcing yourself – otherwise you might find it stressful and counterproductive.

Study words that you’re having trouble with, such as verb tenses or prefixes and suffixes. Also, be sure to learn the pronunciation of these words and how they’re pronounced in each accent. (You can download a free pronunciation guide and flashcards in the To Fluency Program).

Practising different skills in different environments is one of the best ways to improve your English skills fast. If you can’t take a class that covers all your needs, get creative and make your own group or join a language exchange. Surround yourself with English speakers, whether in person or online English teacher, forums and community sites.


Writing is a hard skill for English learners because unlike reading which is receptive, it requires you to produce your own language. This means translating your ideas into language, organising that language in a cohesive way, and then revising so that it is clear, concise and free of spelling, grammar and style errors.

Start by establishing what your main areas of weakness are and then focus on improving them. For example, if you struggle with choosing the right words or composing simple sentences, study writers who excel in those areas and learn from their techniques. Creating a swipe file – a collection of good writing examples – is another helpful strategy. Once you have a few examples, compare your own writing to the ones in your swipe file and note how you can improve.

It is also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the different types of English writing that you might encounter. A factual article for the newspaper, an email to a potential employer and an essay for a literature class all require unique formatting and elements. Try writing a prompt for each of these text types and then read them out loud to catch any awkward phrasing or to hear how your tone shifts between audiences. In addition, relying on automatic spelling and grammar checks can be a useful tool to help you catch errors that you might not notice when reading your work aloud.


One of the most difficult aspects of English is speaking. It requires the ability to formulate sentences, use grammar correctly and speak with proper pronunciation. Fortunately, there are several ways to improve your speaking skills.

First, listen to as much English as possible. This can be done by listening to podcasts, watching television and movies in English, or even just listening to your favourite music in English. By listening to English, you will be able to hear the way the words are pronounced and will start to pick up on the pronunciation of certain sounds in English.

The next thing you can do is to practise your English speaking skills by talking to native speakers. This can be done by finding a friend who is also learning English, or by joining an English conversation group online. If you are unable to find someone to talk with, try recording yourself and playing it back. This will help you hear your mistakes and will make it easier to correct them.